Knowing your energy levels

gareth2134 Posts: 198
edited June 2010 in Road beginners
I am 28 and my cycling buddy is 42 hes been doing gym biking 20 plus years and me 2 years we been out on the road 1 year.
Both fit trained for many years doing all kinds of different training from running, walking up mountains gym training etc etc.

1 thing I have noticed is that he can go longer than me on the bike without having to top up his energy levels with food or gel etc. I can average about 30 mile without food before it starts to affect my performance then once I consume 5 mins later im great to go again.

However he can do 50 mile without food intake and still perform the same, what could this be down to.

1: is down to metabolisim and mine is faster than his

2: could it be that I try harder on the rides because my legs arnt as matured and strong as he's 2 stone heavier but all through training and his legs are strong so when tackling the roads or a climb I work harder forcing my body to use energy levels rapidly.

Any light on this would be helpful.



  • Could be something simple like he eats more than you before a ride.
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  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,661
    People are different.

    I need constant drips of food, every 20 mins or so after the first hour, or else I drop off the pace quite quickly, despite eating a breakfast which really fills me up. Similarly I know riders who can seemingly live off 1 can of coke for the first 3 hrs.
  • Bikerbaboon
    Bikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    are you drinking the same thing?
    His energy drink could have alot more calories than your plane water for example
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  • gareth2134
    gareth2134 Posts: 198
    are you drinking the same thing?
    His energy drink could have alot more calories than your plane water for example

    Both drink water and usually at the end of the ride we have a energy drink to replenish some mineral losses.

    I know his breakfast before we go out and it doesn't differ to much from mine but then again i suppose it only takes a cup full more of porridge to gain an extra advantage and I don't consume massive portions at one sitting.

    I may look at eating a bigger quantity before rides and be more consistant with my energy bars on the ride. I find snickers serves me better than energy bars do must be the chocolate giving good insulin spikes.
  • Gav888
    Gav888 Posts: 946
    Im not 100% on this but eating bigger before you go out will be counter productive as more fluids will be need to digest the larger amount of food so you could actually start out slower than having a small more manageable amount of food and eating little and often..

    Your body can only process so much per minute so no point chucking loads of food down your throat as only a limited amount can get out of the stomach to be used for energy etc, if that makes sense.

    Try to consume 200 - 250 calories per hour, I think that is the recommended amount, via drink and food. You can get drinks that have carbs in them, im using one with a 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein and drinking approx 500ml per hour, then topping up with a cereal bar each hour to make it to the 200 or so calories per hour you need.

    You can just do it from food only, but it will be difficult to get that from drink only. Also try gels and things like that.

    It could simply be that his muscles are more effecient that yours so he needs less food, after all he has been cycling in the gym 20 years compared to your 2....
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